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Refreshing ‘Ologists: Aquatic restoration & management with Colleen Kamoroff

August 20th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Molly Casey, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

Our refreshing ‘ologist for this week is researching techniques in parks to be used for monitoring and managing aquatic wildlife. Join us this Wednesday, August 23 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery to hear about how scientist Colleen Kamoroff uses eDNA in water samples to learn more about an area and the species that occupy it.

A frog in the aquatic habitat Colleen is working to study and manage. Photo courtesy of Colleen Kamoroff.

DNA obtained from filtered water samples is often referred to as aquatic environmental DNA or eDNA. eDNA is a promising tool for monitoring invasive species as well as detecting rare and elusive species; however, using eDNA as a tool in this way is hindered by scientists’ inability to distinguish whether sources of DNA are alive or dead.

Colleen collecting eDNA. Photo courtesy of Colleen Kamoroff.

Colleen and her colleagues analyzed how the detection of eDNA from dead and live model organisms is different depending on how the samples are collected. They applied the resulting method in the field at lake restoration sites across Yosemite and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks. The results they found highlight that how eDNA should be collected and tailored to maximize the utility of eDNA techniques in aquatic habitat conservation.

Yosemite National Park has incorporated these eDNA techniques into their aquatic wildlife program, including the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog restoration, bullfrog eradication, California red-legged frog introduction, as well as detecting foothill yellow-legged frog and Western pond turtle.

This presentation is free and snacks will be provided so join us and bring a friend—let us know you’re coming on Facebook!

Join us on Wednesday, August 23 at 4:00pm at the Mono Lake Committee to hear about what this tool is and how Colleen is using it to learn about aquatic habitats. Photo courtesy of Colleen Kamoroff.

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